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Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Alaska Alaska pollock, Pacific cod fisheries off to a brisk start Alaska's Pacific cod season has started well, with about 25,000t harvested to date Undercurrent News - February 13, 2023 The Pacific cod and pollock fisheries in the US state of Alaska have landed more than 100,000 metric tons of fish and should be well over 200,000t by the end of this month, Tradex reports... *Subscription Required National Inflation is slowing down, but still harming seafood sales Seafood Source by Christine Blank - February 14, 2023 Seafood has continued to see lower inflation rates than many other foods, but price hikes continue to impact its sales across the United States. *Subscription Required GAPP Partners With 7-Eleven to Bring Back Wild Alaska Pollock Fish Sandwich For Lent Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - February 14, 2023 It’s baackkkk! 7-Eleven is re-entering the fish sandwich game this year thanks to a partnership with the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP). The popular convenience store chain first entered into a partnership with GAPP in 2020 to launch their new herb-crusted Wild Alaska Pollock fillet with American cheese and tartar sauce on a buttery bun. The fish sandwich was a limited time offer, running for just 10 weeks during the Lenten season. 7-Eleven and GAPP continued their partnership in 2021 by bringing in new Wild Alaskan Pollock Fish Bites. But in 2023 they are returning to their original Wild Alaska Pollock offering. And to boot they are also bringing back the same promotional pricing from 2020. For a limited time 7Rewards and Speedy Rewards members can score their own fish sandwich for $2 on Fish Sandwich Fridays. This isn’t the only partnership that GAPP is launching during the Lenten season. GAPP has also partnered with Gorton’s Seafood to launch their innovative air fried products. The fish fillets are already air fried, which makes for a light, crispy breading that has 50% less fat. And that also means that consumers don’t have to own an air fryer to enjoy the light and crispy taste. The fillets can be prepared in either the oven or the air fryer. “When we learned Gorton’s was launching its new Wild Alaska Pollock Air Fried Fish Fillets, we wanted to be part of this incredible innovation,” said GAPP CEO Craig Morris. “We are always looking for partners who want to tap into the growing demand for convenient, healthy and delicious foods.” The partnership between GAPP and Gorton’s was designed to help support Gorton’s comprehensive communications plan focused on driving awareness and trial of the new product line. “We are proud that our new Air Fried Fillets are part of this round of GAPP Partnership Funding,” said Jake Holbrook, VP of Marketing at Gorton’s. “GAPP has been a tremendous partner, given their strong expertise on all the benefits of WIld Alaska Pollock.” NOAA Fisheries Releases Draft National Seafood Strategy, Wants Feedback by March 16 by Peggy Parker - February 15, 2023 Yesterday NOAA Fisheries released their 4-page draft National Seafood Strategy along with a request for public comment. The strategy outlines how NOAA Fisheries supports a thriving domestic U.S. seafood economy and enhances the resilience of the seafood sector in the face of climate change, the pandemic crises, labor shortages, aging infrastructure, and impact from new technologies like wind energy. Public comments may be submitted online through March 16, 2023. Besides the draft, two virtual listening sessions are scheduled in early March. The first is Thursday March 2, 2023 at 2pm (EST)/11am (PST)/5am (ChST- Guam time). The second is Thursday March 9, 2023, 5pm (EST)/2pm (PST)/8am (ChST). The agency added that the vision of the strategic plan is to ensure that: * US seafood continues to be produced sustainably * US seafood production increases to support jobs, the economy, and the competitiveness of the U.S. seafood sector * The U.S. seafood sector contributes to the nation’s climate-ready food production and to meeting critical domestic nutritional needs * Supply chains and infrastructure are modernized with more value-added activity in the United States * Opportunities are expanded for a diverse and growing seafood workforce NOAA Fisheries strategy “underscores NOAA’s strong commitment to seafood sector resilience. It aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration's goals for economic recovery, environmental sustainability, and climate resilience,” according to a statement on the agency’s website. “Further, the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health points to the need for increased seafood consumption in the United States, which this strategy aims to address.” Implementation will focus on four goals: * Sustain or increase sustainable U.S. wild capture production * Increase sustainable U.S. aquaculture production * Foster access to domestic and global markets for the U.S. seafood industry * Strengthen the entire U.S. seafood sector "Public comments are integral to finalizing the strategy and helping guide the direction of our work to support the seafood sector," a spokesman said. "Information on how to submit written comments or join our two virtual listening sessions is available on our website." The Retail Rundown: Upcoming Lenten Season Lifts Seafood Sales Urner Barry by Courtney Shum - February 15, 2023 Trending topics this week include the upcoming Lenten season and inflation as traders assess the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released yesterday. The Christian Lenten season begins next week on February 22 and will last through April 6. During this 40-day stretch, observers will reduce their red meat consumption. The seafood counter typically stands to benefit from this temporary shift away from meat on Fridays. Although Lent is rapidly approaching, retailers have actually reduced their number of seafood feature activities. For the week of February 20, seafood buying opportunities clock in at 23%, down from 31.4% the week prior. Beef narrowly holds the top spot with 29.2%, closely followed by pork with 28.5%. Chicken makes up around 15% of circular ad space. Following three straight weeks of very little to no retail feature activity, eggs are beginning to show some life with 2% of total buying opportunities. However, this is down from almost 7% for the same period last year. Retail data from IRI for the week ended February 5 showed total seafood sales volume at $80.6 million. Seafood purchases could tick up in the weeks ahead as shoppers observing Lent stock up on fish instead of beef and pork. Within the seafood complex, fresh finish accounted for the bulk of sales volume, followed by frozen shellfish. Fresh salmon was a standout with $18.8 million in total sales, compared to $1.8 million for fresh cod and $1.5 million for fresh catfish. In the week leading up to Valentine's Day, frozen lobster raked in $179,010 in total sales and retailed at $8.57 non-discounted, or $8.18 discounted. When looking at the total sales volume for last week, beef and chicken both outranked seafood with beef coming in at $173.2 million and chicken at $134.8 million. Inflation Continues to Slow from its June Peak The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data this week, showing the index up 6.4% versus a year ago in January. This signaled the seventh straight month of year-over-year declines. Inflation continues to ease from its June 2022 peak of 9.1% but remains well above the Federal Reserve's 2% target. The food away from home index was up 0.6% last month, following a 0.4% increase in December. Food at home rose by 0.7%. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased by 0.7% in January, driven by an 8.5% increase in the egg index. Notably, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that egg prices registered a 70.1% year-over-year increase on an unadjusted basis. Over the past 12 months, the index for food away from home has increased by 8.2%, while food at home rose by 11.3%. The latest CPI data, which was slightly higher than what some economists were anticipating, feeds into the possibility that the Fed will continue to hike interest rates in an effort to tame inflation. The all-items index minus energy and food rose 0.4% with gains primarily for the shelter index. Traders are awaiting the January 2023 Producer Price Index (PPI) report, scheduled for release Thursday at 8:30 A.M. eastern time. This data is a measure of inflation at the wholesale level. To view the latest week's feature activity, subscribers can access the complete breakdown for the various seafood, meat, and poultry cuts by clicking on the Retail dashboard on the COMTELL homepage. For COMTELL Retail Definitions, click here. International Russia Looking to Become One of Largest Surimi Suppliers to Japan by Eugene Gerden - February 14, 2023 Russia is looking to become one of the largest suppliers of surimi to Japan and to compete with the U.S. in the Japanese market in the short-term. That will be achieved both by a significant increase of domestic output and exports. In fact, Russia resumed surimi production in 2021 after a long pause, and is currently planning to become one of its largest suppliers of the product to the Asia Pacific region. In the case of Japan, according to the Association of Shipowners of the Russian Fishing Fleet (ASRF), citing official Japanese statistics, already in 2022 the volume of imports of Russian pollock surimi to this market amounted to 16,100 tonnes, which is more than five times that in 2021 (3,100 tonnes). According to ASRF, as a result of this, in Japan, the world’s largest consumer of pollock surimi, the share of Russia increased from 3.2% to 17.5%. That has led to the reduction of the share of the United States to 82.5%. As Alexei Osintsev, President of ASRF, said in an interview with the Russian Expert business paper, currently the production of pollock surimi is steadily growing in Russia, with the grow being observed both on-board and onshore. For the current year, the volume of production is expected to reach 50,000 tonnes, that will be significantly increase the figures of 2021 (8,500 tonnes). Environment/Science Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort Rises in Congress to Rid Ocean of Plastic Debris by Peggy Parker - February 13, 2023 There may be bickering over other issues between the Republican-held House and the Democratic-held Senate, but on marine debris, a long-standing coalition continues their work to remove debris from oceans and national waterways. Last Thursday, U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Jenniffer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico) introduced legislation amending the 2020 Save Our Seas (SOS) 2.0 Act and the 2006 Marine Debris Act to allow the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) more flexibility to 1) deliver federal resources and 2) to enter into cooperative agreements to conduct marine debris prevention and clean-up. The legislation also clarifies the function and responsibilities of the congressionally-chartered Marine Debris Foundation. The legislation passed the Senate by unanimous consent in the previous Congress. “NOAA has already reached several important milestones in implementing the historic SOS 2.0 Act, assembling a distinguished Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors—including several Alaskans—and conducting a landmark study that deepens our understanding of the global marine debris crisis,” said Sullivan. “In furthering the SOS mission, my colleagues and I are introducing modifications to SOS 2.0 and the Marine Debris Act that will enhance NOAA and the Foundation’s ability to deploy federal resources and enter into effective public and private partnerships. I hope my colleagues will join our bipartisan effort to help address this entirely solvable global environmental challenge, and better protect our marine ecosystems, fisheries, and coastal economies,” he added. The Save Our Seas Act was introduced by Sens. Sullivan and Whitehouse in the Senate, and Representatives Bonamici and Don Young in the House, and signed into law in October 2018. That alliance has changed slightly with Representative Young’s death last year, to include Puerto Rico’s representative Republican Jenniffer González-Colón. “Marine debris threatens the health of our ocean and coastal communities. That’s why I was a proud supporter and cosponsor of the Save Our Seas (SOS) 2.0 Act, which strengthened federal programs and initiatives to tackle this issue,” said González-Colón. “As Co-Chair of the House Oceans Caucus, I am committed to ensuring we have the necessary resources and authorities in place to fully implement this law and comprehensively combat marine debris, both at home and abroad. “The SOS 2.0 Amendments Act will help achieve that by providing NOAA’s Marine Debris Program needed flexibilities and clarifying the responsibilities of the Marine Debris Foundation. I look forward to working with my House Oceans Caucus Co-Chair, Representative Bonamici, and Senators Sullivan, Whitehouse, Menendez, and Peters to get this important bill across the finish line,” she said. The SOS 2.0 Act was the most comprehensive legislation ever passed by Congress to address the plastic debris crisis threatening coastal ecosystems and communities, and harming marine life. It was composed of three primary pillars: * Strengthening the United States’ domestic marine debris response capability with a Marine Debris Foundation, a genius prize for innovation, and new research to tackle the issue. * Enhancing global engagement to combat marine debris, including formalizing U.S. policy on international cooperation, enhancing federal agency outreach to other countries, and exploring the potential for a new international agreement on the challenge. * Improving domestic infrastructure to prevent marine debris through new grants for and studies of recycling and waste management and mitigation. “Our oceans are in real trouble. This legislation will help maximize our previous Save Our Seas efforts to reduce marine pollution,” Whitehouse explained. “Keeping the oceans healthy must continue to be a strongly bipartisan priority.” “By making significant improvements to the Marine Debris Foundation and Marine Debris Program at NOAA, today’s introduction signals strong and continued bipartisan support for confronting the marine debris crisis, a global problem with drastic implications for our livelihoods and well-being,” Menendez noted. “To address effects at home, the Marine Debris Program has already begun important work in New Jersey, including through the removal of derelict vessels in the Hudson River corridor and its support for the launch of the Clean Water Fund’s ReThink Disposable program, which provides critical training for community members to reduce plastic waste and the removal of derelict vessels in the Hudson River corridor. I look forward to continuing to support this and the Foundation’s other initiatives to make our shorelines cleaner and safer by working to secure the SOS 2.0 Amendments Act’s passage early on in the 118th Congress,” he added. “The Great Lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people, drive our state’s economy, and are simply in our DNA as Michiganders,” said Peters. “This bipartisan legislation would help preserve the unique Great Lakes ecosystem and protect this critical natural resource for future generations by supporting marine debris prevention and clean-up efforts.” “Marine debris threatens ocean health,” added Bonamici. “The bipartisan Save Our Seas 2.0 Act took a significant step toward addressing this pollution, and now we have the opportunity to build on that success by making it easier to use the resources the law provides. I am grateful to continue this important work with my colleagues on the House Oceans Caucus and the Senate Oceans Caucus, and I will also focus on legislation that prevents marine debris by reducing the production of plastics and eliminating waste.” The amendment is here. Federal Register North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting A Notice by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 02/14/2023 The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan Climate Change Taskforce (BSFEP CC) will meet March 1, 2023 through March 2, 2023. Pacific Seafood Processors Association 1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119 Phone: 206.281.1667 E-mail:; Website: Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. *Inclusion of a news article, report, or other document in this email does not imply PSPA support or endorsement of the information or opinion expressed in the document.


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